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Showing posts from December, 2011

Green Olive Tapenade Triangles-New Years Eve Finger Food

These are easy and can be prepared prior and frozen. Thaw before popping into the oven, if you don’t make them fresh. My friends call these, “martinis encroute”.  I just think they’re incredible!

Ingredients

Puff pastry cut into 3 inch squares 2 cups of Green Olives stuffed with pimentos or not, roughly chopped. 1 Tbsp finely chopped Green Onion 1 tsp Gin 1 tsp Dry Vermouth 1 Egg, beaten
Mix the olives, green onion, gin and vermouth together and chill for at least 30 minutes. Roll out the puff pastry until almost 50% larger, then cut into 3 inch squares, take each pastry square and put 2 tsp of olive mixture into the center, and close into a triangle, lightly crimping the edges with a fork. Give each pastry a prick with the fork to release the steam. This will keep them from puffing up too much.
When completed, give the top of the triangles a very light egg wash and then in the oven for approx. 25 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Timing really depends on the puff pastry you are using, so …

Marinara Sauce with Meatballs

This produces some of the best marinara sauce with meatballs I’ve ever tasted, because the sauce actually cooks the meatballs. That’s right, they’re not browned first,  just dropped into the simmering sauce and cooked until done.

It helps to have the sauce at a point where it needs about another hour of cooking. This assures that the meatballs will be cooked through.

Ingredients


Meatballs 
2 lbs. of lean ground Beef 2 tbsp. Breadcrumbs 2 Eggs, well beaten 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil 1 Tbsp. Marsala wine, Cream Sherry can be substituted if Marsala isn’t available. 1 large sautéed Onion 2 Tbsp. freshly chopped Parsley 1 tsp. Salt Fresh ground Black Pepper
Makes approx. 15 to 20 meatballs depending on the size. After prepping, put them into the refrigerator.

Marinara Sauce

Ingredients
1 large finely chopped Onion 1 large finely chopped Carrot 2 finely chopped stalks Celery 4 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped

Mountain Dew Cake

I can’t imagine something being more Southern than a Mountain Dew cake. By now, I’m sure most people have heard of Mountain Dew soft drink, but there was a time when it was relatively unknown outside of the South.


I remember as a child that I loved the glass bottle it came in, because it had an imprint of a hillbilly man drinking a Mountain Dew. I always thought he was funny. That glass bottle is long gone, but this recipe remains and is incredibly moist and good.
Ingredients

Cake: 1 box of Yellow Cake Mix, my grandmother always used Duncan Hines 1 box of Vanilla or Lemon Instant Pudding 1 cup of Vegetable Oil 4 Eggs 1 10 oz Mountain Dew that has gone flat
Icing: 1 large can of crushed Pineapple 3 tsp. Corn Starch 1 cup Sugar 1 stick of Butter 1 cup unsweetened Coconut
Preheat the oven to 325F. Mix together all ingredients, making sure that the fizz is gone from the Mountain Dew before mixing it in. 

Pour entire mixture into a large greased baking pan, or two cake pans and bake until the cake is ligh…

Carne en su jugo - Mexican Beef Soup

One of the wonderful things about living in California is we have fantastic Mexican food. However, while the food in most restaurants is really good, it is not the real home cooking I really enjoy. So, when we went to visit our neighbors, Monica made a completely authentic Mexican soup and it was stunning. It was honestly one the best things I have ever eaten, so I asked Monica to send me the recipe. Here it is and I can promise you, it is just amazing. Enjoy!



Ingredients

1/2 lb Bacon cut into small pieces
2 lbs. Flap/Skirt Steak (ranchera), cut into small strips
Garlic Salt (to taste)
Black Pepper (to taste) 1 can Pinto Beans, cooked
16 Pearl Onions, boiled Lemon or Lime wedges

Sauce:
5 Tomatillos
1/2 a bunch of Cilantro
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Jalapeño or 2 Serrano Chilies 1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 cups water or chicken broth
2 heaping teaspoons Chicken Bullion

In blender, add all the sauce ingredients and blend until liquefied.(I added 1 cup of water to the blender first and then when I poured the sa…